THE 6 BEST WISCONSIN WATERFALLS WITHIN AN HOUR OF MADISON

Waterfalls in Wisconsin? Yes! You may be surprised to hear there are many gorgeous waterfalls you can visit across the state. In fact, there are six that are an hour or less from the greater Madison area. So if you’re looking for a little day trip and an adventure, look no further! 

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Black Bear Falls | 45 minutes north

Devil’s Lake State Park – Baraboo, WI

Black Bear Falls is located in the southwest corner of the park in an area called Pine Hollow. This waterfall drops about 20-30ft from the top of a rock cliff down into an overgrown boulder field before joining a stream at the bottom of the valley. *source

To get to the falls, you must drive to the end of the winding and unpaved Burma Rd. At the end of Burma Road, you will hike south-west and then climb down into a steep gorge.


December Falls | 45 minutes north

Devil’s Lake State Park  – Baraboo, WI

December Falls is located along the Ice Age/Roznos Meadow Trail on the north side of South Shore Road. The waterfall can be seen and heard from the trail. This fall is drops about 15 feet before sliding over a weathered stone and slipping below the talus (boulders) and out of sight. It is more easily accessible. *source


Granite Quarry Waterfalls | 1 hour north

Downtown Montello – Montello, WI 53949

View the waterfalls at the historic granite quarry in Daggett Park in downtown Montello, WI.


Stephens Falls | 45 minutes west

Governor Dodge State Park – Dodgeville, WI

This is a beautiful, 20-foot waterfall that is visible from an overlook on Stephens Falls trail (in Governor Dodge State Park), and accessible from a set of stone steps. It flows over the classic sandstone outcroppings that are characteristic of Governor Dodge State Park.

Photo at Stephens Falls | by @wisconmom

Pewit’s Nest State Natural Area | 45 minutes north

County Highway W – Baraboo, WI

Pewit’s Nest is natural gorge cut by a small stream called Skillet Creek. The 1/2 mile walking trail leads to the mouth of the gorge as well as a lookout area on top of the cliffs.

Pewit’s features a series of small waterfalls formed by Skillet Creek as it runs through a dramatic sandstone gorge, dominated by 30- to 40-foot moss-covered cliffs.

It also features a sandy beach and clear, deep pool perfect for swimming on a hot summer day.


Parfrey’s Glen | 45 minutes north

1377 County Rd DL, Merrimac, WI

Parfrey’s Glen, located within Devil’s Lake State Park (about 4 miles to the east), is a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-designated State Natural Area. The glen is a deep gorge cut through the sandstone of the south flank of the Baraboo Hills. It was the first State Natural Area to be designated in Wisconsin.

Visitors are allowed to hike the stream up to the pool below the waterfall, but may not go around or beyond the falls. *source


More WI Waterfalls to Go Chasing…

Waterfalls are plentiful (and breathtaking) in the northern part of the state; so if you don’t mind a drive… here are some to add to your bucket list!

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Can you provide more details on Black Bear Falls? I was at the end or burma road, walked the end, and saw no markers or gorge. With the road closed, it was a LONG walk for nothing.

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